Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,982 pages of information and 229,205 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Eliot Hodgkin

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

John Eliot Hodgkin (1829-1912) of J. E. Hodgkin and the Pulsometer Engineering Co

1829 December 25th. Born the son of John Hodgkin and his wife Elizabeth

Had son Philip Eliot Hodgkin

1854 of Suffolk Iron Works, Berkeley Street, Birmingham.

1912 Obituary [1].

WE have to announce with regret the death of Mr. John Eliot Hodgkin, managing director of the Pulsometer Engineering Company, Limited, of Reading, which took place at his home, Woodlands, Upper Richmond-road, Putney, on the 5th inst.

Mr. Hodgkin was born at Tottenham on December 30th, 1829, and was therefore in his eighty-third year. He was the son of the late John and Elizabeth Hodgkin, the former of whom was a conveyancing barrister and the latter the daughter of Luke Howard, F.R.S., the father of English Meteorology.

John Eliot was educated privately at Grove House, Tottenham, the school of the Society of Friends, and his engineering career was commenced by his apprentice in the Orwell Engineering Works of Ransomes and Sims, of Ipswich.

Young Hodgkin quite carried out the ancient tradition of apprentices, for in 1854, when in his twenty-fifth year, he married Sarah Jane, the daughter of Robert Ransome the head of the firm. Thereafter he migrated to Birmingham, and started as a millwright and ironfounder at Suffolk Works, Berkeley street.

This business having been sold to Messrs. May and Mountain, he went to Liverpool about the year 1858 and lived at West Derby, being then managing partner with his relatives, the Howards, of Stratford, and of the Borax Works, Old Swan.

He came to London in 1875, and, in conjunction with Mathias Neuhaus, purchased the patents of the Pulsometer steam pumps, and commenced manufacturing, the title of the firm being Hodgkin, Neuhaus and Co. The business was a few years later converted into a limited liability undertaking and called the Pulsometer Engineering Company, Limited, the works being at the same time removed to Nine Elms, Vauxhall.

Here they remained until the year 1900, when they were removed to their present site at Reading. Mr. Hodgkin continued to be managing director to the time of his death.

Mr. Hodgkin was, besides being an engineer of considerable repute, an antiquary of no mean fame. He was, in fact, one of the oldest Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries. He was an able collector of historical MSS., and one volume of reports on these has already been issued, while the materials for a second ate already prepared. He was a keen and enthusiastic collector of nearly everything connected with the fine arts, and possessed a knowledge remarkable for the extraordinary field that it covered, this including books, coins, prints, manuscripts ex libris, early English pottery, &c. &c. These collections are described in his book, "Rariora," which in the first volume settles conclusively the long-standing dispute as to the method adopted by the early printers of producing type.

Mr. Hodgkin had a family of six sons and four daughters, seven of whom survive him. Two of the sons, Stanley and Ernest Hodgkin, have been connected with the Pulsometer Engineering Company, Limited, for many years, and are at present directors, as are also his son-in-law, Walter May. R.N., and his son Gerard Hodgkin May.

See Also


Sources of Information